How These States Are Fighting For Reproductive Rights

Photo: Nicole Mabry/NBC/Getty Images.
If you've been keeping an eye on news regarding women's reproductive rights, you've probably noticed that things are looking relatively bleak. But the battle is far from over. As some states have become emboldened to attempt to restrict reproductive health care access, Oregon and Illinois have stepped forward to propose legislation to expand care for all.

For starters, the Reproductive Health Equity Act currently being proposed in Oregon, would ensure that Oregonians are entitled to reproductive care, even if the Affordable Care Act is repealed as the GOP has promised. Though birth control is guaranteed to those in need under the ACA, if the program really is rolled back, those who depend on Obamacare for contraceptives may not have many options left. The Reproductive Health Equity Act would protect from federal rollbacks of the ACA, ensuring reproductive health services for all Oregonians, no matter how much money they earn and whatever their immigration status.

"While Oregon has been a leader on many health care policy fronts, there are still many who have been left behind due to citizenship status, discrimination and the insurance they have," Amy Casso, director of the Gender Justice Program at Western States Center in Oregon, told Refinery29. "No one should have to go bankrupt or deep into debt because they don’t have affordable reproductive health care."
And in Illinois, advocates have come together to support House Bill 40, which guarantees access to reproductive care services, including abortion. Notably, it would ensure that those enrolled in Medicaid would have abortion coverage. (Currently, only 15 states even allow state Medicaid funding for abortion.)

"The measure is necessary to ensure that every woman in Illinois can make her own health care decisions and have access to safe medical care, regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C.," Lorie Chaiten, director of Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project at ACLU of Illinois, told Refinery29. "Every woman, regardless of whether she has private or government-funded health insurance, should have affordable and comprehensive health care coverage that includes coverage for abortion care, so she can make personal health decisions based on what is best for her and her family."

These efforts are hopefully representative of a movement of resistance against what seems like an increasingly stringent agenda to restrict reproductive rights. And if you want to get in on the resistance, there are a few ways you can start now.
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